Log in

No account? Create an account
Edinburgh (and beyond!) Reading Group

> recent entries
> calendar
> friends
> profile
> previous 20 entries
> next 20 entries

Sunday, October 8th, 2006
1:56 am

I seem to be feeling talkative tonight, and another idea just wandered into my mind.

One of the things torsparkles and I often do together is wander through the charity bookshops along Nicholson St in Edinburgh. We've talked a fair bit about why we buy books from them, and also in some cases why not also.

To me, a book is a book is a book. A lot of my old paperbacks are battered, dogeared and tired from having bounced around in my bag whilst I was at college. Another thing I do with my (and only my) book is take them in the bath with me. Steam causes a few deteriations... This to me though merely personalises a volume as my copy. Books are personal to me :) I'll lend my copies out, but I'd rather buy someone another copy than give one of mine away.

So a charity bookshop. To me an ideal place to buy books - this is a place where people have cared enough about a book to not just throw it away, but instead given it to a place where someone else might enjoy it, and a worthy cause benefits. I get to feel good about buying something I want. There isn't really a downside, is there?

Now the question I have to ask, is should I as a consumer have any say in the prices a charity bookshop may charge?

I have a good idea of where and why my ideology lies, but before I waffle further, does anybody else have any views on new / secondhand / charity / retail books, or even (say it isn't so!) ways you might pass your books on to others?

current mood: curious

(3 comments | comment on this)

1:24 am

The Rise of Endymion.

Well I finished the quartet which is fairly good going for me these days. Though I have to confess a little disappointment in the final wrapping up. It was all a bit biblical, and also the whole travelling to a planet to confront your idealogical nemesis was done far, far better by Julian May where the whole narrative leads upto the climactic moment in the final book, then loops around again to the start. The series raised some very interesting ideas both in terms of technology and ethics, but at the end of the day we all know the story in the bible. Also by the time you get to the end, the Shrike is no longer the implacable machine of earlier volumes, it ends up a kind of anti-hero sidelined in the plot. I also have to beg the question of why after protecting the heroine through most of two volumes, it stands idly by whilst she martyrs herself... Sadly I'd have to say read the first two and leave it at that because that way you get a cracking SF story with a truly scary monster, that ties up its loose ends elegantly enough without the addition of the final two volumes.


This seemed to be a departure for Mr Pratchett. I'll say up front I liked it - Sam Vimes is one of my favorite characters and the police/fantasy theme fits me well. Nevertheless this one has moved far away from the gently parodying of Anne MacCaffrey and Fritz Lieber. It confronts the theme of racial tensions head-on without the stigmata of touching on any real-world group, in a sane, sensible and controlled way, and ultimately shows that the widely heard views of a few zealots are emphatically not the views of most of the world. Being fantasy, for once this kind of theme can have a happy ending, not the all-singing-world-is-fine type of thing you might expect, but a positive start to talking about how to live together with other races.

I'll get people arguing, but I'd say Mr Pratchett is well and truly back on form with four good books in a row now. Even if the next one (Everyone I know whose read it says Wintersmith is good too though :) is mediocre, I'm more than prepared to forgive the odd not quite dead-centre volume given the literary nonsense those such as Patricia Cornwell pump out these days.

Next out of the box on top (TM) is Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson. I'm sort of reluctant to read it, as I probably don't have the concentration to fully appreciate the kind of thing I read in Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates. But I can always go back and read it again in the future.

Beyond this, I should really go and find torsparkles box of books and read some of those so I can give them back to her. Other than that, I want to try to get hold of 'Vulcan 607', which is the story of the Black Buck bombing raids during the Falklands War. Given the age of the aircraft, and the limits of the technology of the time the flights the crews accomplished rank alongside such exploits as the Dambusters.

I don;t think I'll have got anywhere near my height in books this year, but last year had something like a three foot overspill, and I do have further than most to go (Being 5'11" and all) I think I can pronounce myself satisfied at what I have managed to read.

current mood: awake

(comment on this)

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
10:37 pm - A bit more on Hyperion.

Yup, I'm afraid I'm still going on about it...

Tonight I've been thinking about what the books call Farcaster Portals. Guess what they do. In the books they join bits of different worlds together end to end, which sounds like a wonderful folly to be able to build :) I had a think about the real world, and if I could do, which bits of it I would join together so you could walk from one to the next within just a few minutes.

I started with home, but Edinburgh is proving awkward because there is just so much of it. Thats on the back burner for a while. In Britain I'd have Badcall Bay, Chessil Beach, Birdlip and Avebury. Further afield would be Easter Island, A completely deserted sandy key somewhere warm, The North and South Poles (A very, very small section of each :), The Pyramids and Sphinx, and somewhere near an erupting (Hawiian type!!) volcano.

Back to the buisiness of books though... I've made a start on The Rise of Endymion, and is so far so good. Conspiricy in the New Vatican, Journeys through fantastic landscapes, and harsh moral choices facing the principle characters.

current mood: okay

(comment on this)

5:40 pm

PreviousCollapse )
Additional...Collapse )
Current total - 140cm

26cm by end of Dec, should be doable if I can resist the siren call of Robin Hobbs Farseer books...

Currently working on Michael Cordy's The Venus Conspiracy, which I suspect may follow fairly standard Megalomaniac-corrupts-good-intentioned-work-to- his-own-evil-ends-in-bid-for-world-domination plot that most of Mr Cordy's thrillers take.
Also been falling for the charms of Waterstones 3-for-2 and Tescos Half-the- price-of-anywhere-else offers and adding even more new books to the pile waiting to be read so there's really no excuse not to make the target. Especially as I've finally, after 10 years trying, managed to convince a doctor that yes, it's actually a genuine probability I do have bipolar depression and I'm not lying or imagining things so I can see there's going to be a whole lot of time spent hanging about waiting rooms waiting to see specialists and all sorts. Good on two counts - for one I can get this evil illness dealt with by professionals who can fix it far beter than my ham-fisted amateur efforts at handling it on my own, and for two - loads of reading time!

current mood: pleased

(4 comments | comment on this)

10:49 am - I'm never gonna make it...

I currently have 9 books half finished. I've read 85.7cm and I have 84.3cm to go. Looks like I'll not make it in time. I've got three months to read what I've read in 9 months. However I've read more this year than I have for a very long time.

I'm currently reading The devil wears prada by Lauren Weisberger I
empathise with the protaganist. Everyone has had one of those horrible demanding bosses who don't let you catch your breath before insisting you do some random and meaning less job for them. Based on one of the authour's ex bosses it's a kind of tragic comedy. Deffinately worth a read. It's now half price at waterstones (i'm really miffed i got it full price last thursday).

I also loved Marley and Me by john grogan. Very funny and touching story of the life of an utterly mad american labrador. It made me realise how sane my mother's dog is in comparison.

current mood: disappointed

(comment on this)

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
10:00 pm

Not a lots happened today, but I did get to do some reading :)

HyperionCollapse )

Chronicles of the Raven - James BarclayCollapse )

(comment on this)

Saturday, August 19th, 2006
5:35 pm - Five inches left...

I've just updated my books list (here). My total is now 57 books and 65 inches, giving me just 5 inches left to read my goal of reading my height in books. I recently bought the last part of Stephen King's Dark Tower series and we have a bank holiday weekend coming up in which I plan to gorge myself on all seven parts, so I expect I'll have reached my target in a couple of weeks.

I've added some star ratings to my list. So far this year I've read eight books that I've given the top five stars:

Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly
Under World by Reginald Hill
Pictures Of Perfection by Reginald Hill
The Stand by Stephen King
Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky
Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
Angels Flight by Michael Connelly
Decider by Dick Francis

(comment on this)

Sunday, August 13th, 2006
9:36 pm - Overdue Update...

y excuse is... been in danger of being made redundant, getting new job, new job being manic headache inducing chaos (next time someone tells me I want a job that involves convincing long-time cops they have to change their ways...!!!), been turning flat upsaide down, inside out and generally turning it from long-term bachelor pad into somewhere a little more girl-friendly (it's only taken me a year to persuade Dave he wants to do it and get it happening, by Court male standards, that's nothing short of a miracle). And in all that, I needed the company of 'old friend' books so fell a bit behind on reading new stuff.

previously readCollapse )

additional...Collapse )

Current total - 118.5cm

Well on track to get the target height in a year, I think... Though am currently back on previously read books for a while as I want to read the second Duncton Wood trilogy, but it was so long ago I read the first one that I'm going back through that first. They're big books too so it's most annoying they don't count!

(5 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, August 10th, 2006
8:24 pm - Well...I've done it...

...and then some more!

See the Full List!

Hmm...didn't even realise I had done it and in truth had been forgetting to update. Glad I have now. Not only is it interesting to see what types of book I have been going for and how that changes over the two years I have been doing this but it is rather pleasing (ok, I like records ;) to have two years recording one of my favourite past times.

So What Have I Read Recently?

Some very good books...Collapse )

current mood: exhausted

(2 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006
8:34 am - A Rare Update!

A Rare Update!

What I have read...Collapse )

Which leaves me with 27.1 cm to read my height!

(4 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006
10:27 pm - Reading update

I have had this update on my list of things to do for far too long. I have made it to 42 inches so just another 22 to go to reach my target for the year! If you are interested in what I've read see the shiney table.

shiney tableCollapse )

(comment on this)

5:06 pm - I did it!

As of the last day of June, I have read 3 inches more than my height this year (66"). Book 55 was "How I Paid For College" by Marc Acito (very funny, highly recommended although it's 'a bit rude' in places, but all the better for that IMO). Now I'm heading into July thinking perhaps I'll try for twice my height by the end of the year.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, June 24th, 2006
4:22 pm - Nicked shamelessly of kisin:

The Hugo award winners I've read and/or own...Collapse )

Which is more than quite a few... I was quite surprised to find Lois McMaster Bujold on the list so many times. Not because her books aren't good - exactly the opposite they are well thought out engaging and above all human tales, but because I don't seem to know many people who have read them. I was introduced to them years ago by scimon and went through his pile one after another like the .303 bookworm of legend... I recently found 'Diplomatic Immunity' in Oxfam, and it still reads as easily as the earlier books - its waiting for me to get around reviewing it for you all as I write...

In all I seem fairly 'with it' as far as popular SF/fantasy goes... Does anyone have a list of the Nebula Award winners to play with too?

current mood: Bibliographic

(3 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, June 11th, 2006
7:38 pm - Four foot of books...

It's been a couple of months since I last updated my books list and in that time I read 23 books:

Books wot I have readCollapse )

The full list of books I've read this year is here.

This brings the total height of books I have read this year to 49.2 inches or 4 foot 1. Four foot!! At this rate I'll reach my height in books by the end of summer.

If you like crime and haven't read them, I can recommend John Connolly (who writes crime/horror set in New Orleans, New York and Maine) and Mark Billingham (who writes police crime set in North London).

I'm currently reading London - A Biography by Peter Ackroyd which is fascinating and an excellent read, although a little to weighty (literally) for reading on the tube - it's too big to hold and turn pages with one hand wich precludes reading while standing up.

(4 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006
9:52 pm - book reccomendation

I've just finished Roberta Taylor's (she was in eastenders and the bill) Too many mothers. I've managed to read this book remakably quickly. I got totally engrossed in the storys and I'm now wishing she had written a longer book. The tales of her extended family are sometimes funny and sad all at once. It is not as harrowing as Frank McCourt's memoirs from approximately the same time frame.

I'm well on target, I think. 65.2cm so far only 104.8cm to go. I've recenly picked up quicksilver by neal stevenson and I'm working my way through that, but it may take me a while. I'm currently sitting with 9 books started but not finished which I will force myself to get on with, if only to recover the cm I have already read of them.

I'm very tempted to start conversations with fat girls by Liza Palmer after i take the dog for a walk.

current mood: cold

(3 comments | comment on this)

9:17 pm - Book Update

Books I have been reading...

...and completedCollapse )

Which brings me to 51 books since the start of the year that I have written down here and several others which I have, as yet, not written down, and may not.

current mood: thirsty

(comment on this)

Saturday, May 20th, 2006
12:35 pm - Getting there!

I just measured and totalled up my year to date, and I'm more than halfway to my goal. I'm aiming for 66"/167cm, and so far I've read 37 books and have two on the go (I've mislaid one halfway through, grrr), for a total of appx 40.5"/103cm. If I count the read portions of the current two that's another three inches... ;-)

Included are the entire works of Anita Shreve, an American novelist who writes some really lovely atmospheric stuff about remote communities on the New Hampshire coast (if you liked The Shipping News you'll like these) - a lot of them set or partially set around 100 years ago, and most of the books intermingling one way or another (characters talk about people or events that appear in other books, for instance) which makes her community feel extremely real. I read through these in five weeks and would have finished everything she's written if I hadn't mislaid the last one, but when I find it I expect it will only take a day to finish, her books are easy to devour. I haven't counted knitting books, rereads of parenting/child health books, or picture books, but we've been working our way through the Charlie and Lola series, which are great fun for adults as well as children. But Excuse Me, That Is My Book is highly recommended for booklovers...

(3 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, May 7th, 2006
1:06 pm - Overdue update...

My excuse is... been in danger of being made redundant, getting new job, new job being manic headache inducing chaos (next time someone tells me I want a job that involves convincing long-time cops they have to change their ways...!!!), been turning flat upsaide down, inside out and generally turning it from long-term bachelor pad into somewhere a little more girl-friendly (it's only taken me a year to persuade Dave he wants to do it and get it happening, by Court male standards, that's nothing short of a miracle). And in all that, I needed the company of 'old friend' books so fell a bit behind on reading new stuff.

Previously read...Collapse )

To add...Collapse )

(3 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
11:29 am - Musings...

Well I got over the 100 cm mark...

List of what I have read.

Let's see:

Just some brief thoughts...Collapse )

current mood: amused

(comment on this)

Monday, April 24th, 2006
7:00 pm - Introducing Me... tah-rah!


Hi, I've been a member of this community for a little while now and have never got round to introducing myself.

I'm a writer, a novelist, and I have a journal here on LJ and another (the same except for the comments) on Blogspirit.

I write about anything that's on my mind that day but mostly about sex, gender, books, films, writing, pornography and the writer's life.

Obviously my blogs are meant to help promote my work, but I seem to stir up more controversy than sales! Although, that said, most of the 'heated debates' do seem to take place at Blogspirit. Perhaps one of you might like to start one here?

Anyhow, please feel free to come over and take a look.

Hope to see you soon...

(comment on this)

> previous 20 entries
> next 20 entries
> top of page